An Abuja High Court on Thursday declined an application to recall a prosecution witness, Ayuba Ede, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, in the alleged Apo six killings.
Ifeanyi Ozo, Chinedu Meniru, Isaac Ekene, Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony Nwokike and Tina Arebun, all between 21 and 25 years old were brutally murdered by policemen in 2005.
Justice Ishaq Bello ordered for the continuation of cross examination of the witness.
It would be recalled that Rickey Tarfa, counsel to Danjuma Ibrahim, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, had earlier filed an application challenging the recall of Mr. Ede as a witness in the case.
He said that on February 14, 2012, Mr. Ede was cross examined by the prosecuting counsel, Chris Uche.
“At that sitting, the prosecutor informed the court that he will not be re-examining the witness and the witness was accordingly discharged.
“My lord, it is pertinent to state that the prosecution thereafter sought for several adjournments to enable them to field other witnesses in support of their case, but they failed to do so,” Mr. Tarfa said.
He said that when Mr. Ede was called, the prosecution led him in evidence and tendered two large brown parcels which were admitted in evidence and marked as exhibits 12 and 12A. He argued that upon unveiling the parcels, an AK 47 rifle and magazine were allegedly found.
Mr. Tarfa, therefore, urged the court to determine whether Mr. Ede or any other prosecution witness, who had testified and discharged, could be recalled at the whims of the prosecution.
“Can a witness be recalled without proper application and without placing sufficient materials before the court to consider in exercising its discretion as to whether or not to allow the recall of such a witness,” he said.
He, therefore, urged the court to discountenance the prayer of the prosecution to recall Ede as witness.
Earlier, the prosecuting counsel (Chris Uche) urged the court to recall Mr. Ede, an investigation officer, to tender exhibits recovered in the course of investigation.
He said it was proper to recall Mr. Ede in court to give further evidence based on the provisions of Section 237 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Mr. Uche said that the court might at the stage of any inquiry, trial or other judicial proceedings, order a recall of any witness, where necessary.
“Under the law, the court can summon a person as a witness or recall him/her. If his evidence appears to the court to be essential to the just determination of the case, the court can order a recall of that witness to re-testify,” Mr. Uche said.
The Attorney-General of the Federation had sued DCP Danjuma Ibrahim, ASP Othman Abdulsalami (at large), Nicholas Zachariah, Emmanuel Baba, Emmanuel Acheneje and Sadiq Salami, all police constables, for the alleged murder.
They were alleged to have killed Ifeanyi Ozo, Chinedu Meniru, Isaac Ekene, Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony Nwokike and Tina Arebun, aged between 21 and 25.
The case was adjourned to July 10 for continuation of cross examination of a witness.